Chances are, we’ve all experienced road rage in one form or another. Sometimes we feel it when another driver cuts us off, and sometimes we are being yelled at by another driver who is having a really bad day. But sometimes, road rage isn’t coming from a driver at all. In fact, pedestrian rage is becoming a more common incident on Ontario’s roads. Traditionally, in insurance claims involving a pedestrian, the driver is assigned fault. But who pays for the damages in a case of pedestrian rage?
From hit-and-run to mischief
On July 15, 2018, Toronto police sent a tweet informing the public they were responding to a hit-and-run at the corner of Bay Street and Harbour Street. Not long after, they added a correction to the tweet to indicate it wasn’t a collision. What exactly happened?
Turns out, the female driver’s car was surrounded by a group of male pedestrians. One man jumped on her hood, and another smashed the passenger window with his arm. Two men allegedly tried to enter the vehicle. Fearing for her safety, the woman drove away and waited for police not far from the scene.
The pedestrians were angry the driver didn’t stop for them at the intersection. As a result of their attack on the car, one of the men suffered an injury to his ankle and the other, to his forearm. It was determined these injuries didn’t come from being hit by the car but rather by pounding on the vehicle itself, causing both bodily and vehicular damage.
In the end, it was not the driver who was charged, but the two men. Both were charged for causing damage to vehicle under Section 430 of Criminal Code. This came with a fine under $5,000 for both men.
The next day in Toronto, a pedestrian was caught on video at the corner of Peter Street and Richmond Street West jumping on a vehicle that had stalled in the crosswalk. Witnesses say the incident lasted for thirty-minutes, with the man causing extensive damage to the hood of the vehicle. He then proceeded to kneel on the hood to stare at the driver before jumping on the roof.
Once again, in this incident the pedestrian was arrested and charged. The driver was not at fault, and not charged.
What about insurance?
In incidents of pedestrian-caused damage, drivers need to be aware of their coverage. In most cases, your basic, legally required coverage will not cover any damage in events of pedestrian rage. For cases where an individual intentionally caused damage, it requires a comprehensive claim or all peril.
Comprehensive auto insurance is optional, but it covers a wide range of incidents not limited to pedestrian rage. Other cases include damage caused by an upset family member or friend, or if your parked car is damaged during a protest or riot.
As incidents of pedestrian rage continue to occur, it’s a good idea to check if your current insurance coverage include comprehensive or all peril.